« Life is in front and also behind. »
Artists who combine revolutionary creativity and radical commitment are rare. It’s hard to create a work of art that is strong, beautiful and useful. Useful to those who are fighting. Useful as a weapon. It takes a constant connection to people through the artist’s guts, soul, blood and tears.
Richard Aoki may have been the first to provide the Black Panthers with some guns, but EMORY DOUGLAS, Black Panther’s Party‘s Minister of culture, relentlessly provided hand grenades that were aesthetic in a popular as well as revolutionary way. So much that both its content and form have withstood the test of time. And Emory Douglas did it while being at the heart of the struggle, paying with his very self and his whole faith.
To Meet Emory is to have a meeting with History.
The man, a unique combine of wisdom, kindness and humility, dwells in a very small and unobtrusive house in San Francisco. A survivor in whom you’d have a hard time looking for the least fragment of ego, in whom you’ll witness nothing but a quenchless thirst for collective freedom.
That is probably what has enabled him to be revolutionary and to remain such as time went by. That is probably, along with an unquestionable talent, the reason for the advent of such an enchanting artist whose political and moving work has given voice to, and even heralded, a world-known history of resistance.
Today without nostalgia, regrets or bitterness Emory Douglas still does his utmost, telling the story of the Black Panthers from his unique perspective, sharing his enthusiasm and skills with youger generations, relentlessly voicing his anti-Zionism, supporting Zapatistian fights and in fact keeping the deepest and truest interest in all struggles for emancipation over the planet.
So here we are with Emory Douglas for an hour-long interview about the Black Panther Party of course, the Black Arts Movement among many topics.
So, enjoy !
The Lumpen « Free Bobby Now »
Marvin Gaye « What’s Going On »
Aretha Franklin « Respect »
Sia-Love « Complex »
Sia-Love « Poetic Reflection »
The Sounds of Black « Sounds of Black »
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Interview made on 09.26.2014. Much love and thanks to Emory Douglas !
Emory Douglas’ website : http://www.emorydouglasart.com/
Archives and news about the Black Panther Party on http://www.itsabouttimebpp.com/
Sia-Love aka Meres-Sia Gabriel, singer and poet (a special program is coming soon !) : http://sialove.com/